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One in three Belgian drivers could avoid rush hour traffic

13:28 29/06/2016

About 34% of the drivers sitting in traffic jams on Belgian motorways at rush hour are not on their way to work, according to a commuter study by the FPS Mobility. More than one-third of drivers therefore could perfectly arrange for their trips to take place outside of the morning and evening rush hours, the study concludes. Traffic experts call it “a bad habit of the Belgians”, but Flemish mobility minister Ben Weyts claims to have a solution: road pricing during peak traffic hours.

If one in three drivers would hold off on getting behind the wheel until after traffic has cleared, it would free up entire lanes on some of the country's busiest motorways, writes Knack. Recreational trips, which have nothing to do with work, clog the Belgian roads, confirms mobility expert Kris Peeters. “The number of non-urgent transfers is increasing. It is time we ask ourselves things like: Is this necessarily a good time to head to the supermarket?”

Weyts hopes to find support for his road pricing proposal. Under the system, drivers are charged a small fee to use the roads during the morning and evening rush hours, and little to nothing for using the roads outside of those hours.

Written by Robyn Boyle

Comments

Mikek1300gt

Yes, a small fee in the rush hour.......quickly followed by a large fee all day long.

Jun 29, 2016 17:15
salsadancer

I enjoy my car and use it when necessary. I would change my driving habits if I had to pay. Everyone who uses a car should pay the price of using it whenever that is. Why not institute a Congestion Charge (like in London) for absolutely everyone who uses the inner ring (Portes Louise, Namur, Luxembourg...Koekelberg.....that ring) so people are filmed the moment they cross that line. CCTV at every road solves the problem. You have 24 hours to pay the fee (10 euros would be a start) or you purchase an abonnement so fee is automatically deducted. Congestion fee to end at 6:30 PM or 7:00 PM so restaurants are not punished and fee is for 24 hours. All non-Belgian users of the outer ring road (Zaventem, Groenendael, Waterloo....around to Dilbeek and around) should pay a fee (more than 10 euros). Belgium could have a vignette system like Switzerland where absolutely everyone, including Belgians) pays 50 euros/year or 100 euros/year (something in that range) so all users pay for this major road. Why should the citizen who does not use this road have to pay for it. The road is always in need of maintenance and am tired of seeing all non-Belgians criss crossing Belgium to get to their destination and we pick up the cost.

Jun 29, 2016 17:35
CC_R

So those of us who drive for reasons other than work need to not be doing it to help the more working man! this is because they don't want to look at an intergrated transport system or ways to stop people driving like loonies and causing bottle necks by lane blocking and serving I over solid white lines. ! Theu need average speed cameras for a stray, more filter lights that allow people to move across traffic safely, box junctions that have cameras to stop them being blocked and to give trams priority over traffic. To encourage people out of their cars. Why there is no park and ride scheme baffles me. Also why can't businesses look at altering their hours so that there isn't this stupid clock on and off at same time mentality.

Jun 30, 2016 10:06
John_B

Why not give companies a tax break for all employees who work from home.
Also tax breaks for companies that move outside of Brussels.
That would reduce commuters into Brussels.
A lot of congestion on the R0 is caused by lorries which should be banned during peak hours.

Jun 30, 2016 18:13
Ioli

A lot of the traffic on the inner ring during the rush hour is caused by lorries parked on the driving lanes. (E.g. Avenue Toison d'Or, place Stephanie etc) I have never seen any policeman handing out tickets. And in any case lorries shouldn't be allowed to circulate before 10 am and between 5 - 7. Especially when half of the city's tunnels are closed. And I will not start with the road works in Brussels that start all over the place and never finish.

Jun 30, 2016 23:29